Young Disabled People: Taking Action
This is a new project for young disabled people between the ages of 18-30 years of age who live in Greater Manchester. The project is available for young disabled people who want to get closely involved with the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People. This will include getting involved in campaigns, having discussion groups and training about disability issues and getting involved in task groups, which will cover several different areas. The project is funded by the Kevin Hyett Legacy.
About Kevin Hyett
Kevin Hyett was one of the founder members of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People. He was passionately committed to the disabled people’s movement and also played key roles in the British Council Of Disabled People (BCODP) and setting up Breakthrough UK.
After being turned down for a chemistry degree on the grounds that it would be too dangerous for him, Kevin undertook and completed a degree course in Computer Programming. This led to him embarking on a lengthy career with petrochemical company, Shell UK.
In the beginning stages of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, Kevin’s IT knowledge and organisational skills were vital in setting up the systems to make the organisation run smoothly. Kevin played a vital role in establishing GMCDP’s legal status. Kevin was adamant that GMCDP should never become a charity as he felt that it was completely at odds with what the organisation stood for.
Kevin was very passionate about young disabled people becoming involved in all aspects of the work GMDP does. The Young Disabled People: Taking Action project will ensure that young disabled people are involved at the centre of the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
Taking Action intends to skill up young disabled people to become closer to the campaigning and political grass roots of the GMCDP. This will be done by a series of training, discussions and tasks. It will also look at encouraging young disabled people to attend campaigns and demonstration.
This is within keeping of Kevin’s vision of the GMCDP. The project would like to thank both Neville Strowger (who has sadly recently passed away) and Lorraine Gradwell, who were both good friends with Kevin and were there at the very early stages of the GMCDP’s formation
Louise Hollingworth on 0161 636 7534
Email at: LHollingworth@gmcdp.com
Taking Action project produces award winning The Accessibles comic
In the summer of 2015, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People were approached by Manchester City Council in partnership with Manchester Central Library to create a piece of work to celebrate UK Disability History Month. The Young Disabled People Taking Action group got together and decided that they would like to produce a comic that would look at disabled people’s contribution to Manchester, and in keeping with the theme of 2015’s UK Disability History Month, exploring how disabled people are represented in the media.
The group started by individually researching something about Manchester disability history, which included topics as varied as: The Commonwealth Games, Mary Dendy and segregated education, Alf Morris and more.
Whilst discussing these bits of history, the group came up with the idea of time travelling investigators based on some of the members of the group (especially one particular member’s love of a certain Timelord!).
The group worked with local artist Jim Medway in producing the comic. Jim has plenty of experience of making comics, working with groups and local history. Joined by Lorna Young from Manchester City Council, the Taking Action group worked with Jim on a number of workshops that looked at the basics of making a comic: character design, speech bubbles, page design etc.
After months of hard work, the comic was finally ready for the launch of UK Disability History Month at Manchester Central Library. The comic was met with wide acclaim, as it captured the history of disabled people in Manchester in an accessible format, which was enjoyable to read.
In March 2016, the comic was nominated for the Manchester Community History Award and won the award! the award was presented by former Coronation Street actor Julie Helmonshalgh.
Taking Action at People’s History Museum
A group of young disabled people visited the People’s History Museum to view the Election! Britain Votes exhibition. The exhibition included an object from every general election, from 1900 to 2010, and
displayed anything from posters to plates to pipes which created a whirlwind history of voting in modern Britain. The exhibition is being updated daily and is dictated by events throughout the general election.
The event also gave the young people the opportunity to engage in discussion and think critically around the subject of protest, e.g. what is protest? Why do people protest? How do people protest? And how have people protested in the past?
On arrival we met with the artist and was given an introduction of the museum. The artist then began a discussion on what we would protest against if we had the opportunity. Subjects such as segregated education, cuts in benefits and work capability assessments were suggested.
We were then taken around the gallery and after an explanation we were given time to explore the exhibition. This was followed by a visit to the workshop where we were given the opportunity to create our own protest art in the form of banners, rosettes and posters.
At the end of the session people were given the opportunity to let the rest of the group see what they had produced and there was an evaluation of the session.